This Instant Pot Spanish Rice recipe is the perfect side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican-inspired meals like tacos or enchiladas. Packed with flavorful ingredients like tomatoes, onion, and garlic, you can’t go wrong with this side dish!
Homemade Spanish Rice (in the Instant Pot!)
One of my favorite things to order at a Mexican restaurant is a side of Spanish rice. It’s savory, a little spicy, and pairs with pretty much anything I order. And since I’ve developed my own recipes for Chicken Enchiladas and Barbacoa-Style Beef, I wanted to take a crack at making my own Spanish rice. I dare say this recipe will give that of your favorite Mexican restaurant a run for its money!
This Spanish Rice is one of those recipes that can seem intimidating, but is actually super easy to make. And to make it even simpler, you only need a handful of ingredients that you likely have on-hand, including: unsalted butter, long-grain white rice, an onion (white or yellow), garlic, chicken broth (low-sodium is best), fire-roasted canned tomatoes (with juice), cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, a bay leaf, salt, and fresh-cracked black pepper.
How To Make Spanish Rice in the Instant Pot
- Prep the Rice: Rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. This removes the excess starch and prevents the rice from turning mushy or gummy.
- Toast the Rice: Turn on your Instant Pot to the SAUTE option, and add the butter. Once melted, add the rice and diced onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until toasted and the onion softens. Turn off the Instant Pot, and add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Cook the Rice: Add in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano and bay leaf to the Instant Pot. Cover and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on HIGH for 4 minutes. Allow the steam to naturally release, then uncover and fluff the rice gently.
- Serve: Discard the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge, serve, and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Add a pinch or two of cinnamon and/or nutmeg for warmth. These spices are often used in tomato-based dishes in Mexican-inspired cuisine.
- Spice it up with some cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeño peppers.
- Toss in some frozen peas, carrots, and corn, like Spanish rice is often prepared with at Mexican restaurants.
- Mix in some protein like chicken, beef, or shrimp for added protein.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
- Store leftover homemade Spanish rice in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days.
- While you can freeze this Spanish rice, we don’t recommend it, as the rice’s texture can break down in the thawing process. If you do freeze it, reheat with a little bit of chicken broth to keep it from getting too dry.
- Reheat chilled rice in the microwave with a splash or water or chicken broth for 3-4 minutes, or until warmed through.
More Recipes To Try
- Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese
- Mexican Stuffed Shells
- One Pan Mexican Pasta
- One Pan Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake
- Loaded Mexican Fries
Instant Pot Spanish Rice
This Instant Pot Spanish Rice recipe is the perfect side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican-inspired meals like tacos or enchiladas. Perfect for Taco Tuesday!
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 15.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- Rinse rice until the water runs clear.
- Add butter to the Instant Pot and select the SAUTE option. Add in rice and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they start to get some color on them. Turn off the Instant Pot and add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano and bay leaf to the Instant Pot. Cover and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on HIGH for 4 minutes.
- Allow the steam to naturally release then uncover and fluff rice. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste then serve!